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Creativity in Recovery

By September 12, 2018June 24th, 2022No Comments



Written by Happy Hiker

I used to think that Creativity automatically meant drawing, painting, making things and I put pressure on myself to try schedule it in weekly. This was helpful initially as it got the creative juices flowing again and reminded me about my hobbies as a child. Now, I don’t really think consciously about being creative, I just incorporate into my day with the below practical examples.


Using My Senses Daily

Smell – nice fruity body sprays, perfume, smelly candles, proper clothes detergent, tree smell as I walk through the park on my way to work, freshly baked brown bread

Taste – 3Ts – Texture, Time, Taste – SLOW DOWN!

Hear – Play upbeat music in the morning, soothing music before bed and some guided meditation to help me sleep. Filter what I hear – be selective 😉

See – try to see beauty in everyone, incorporate nature into my daily routine whether it’s a walk half way to work or a lunch time stroll. I am fortunate to have a park close to work and it’s like an oasis of calm in the middle of the city. I love the different colours, plants, trees and the fresh smell when I am in there. I like to take photos of the beauty

Touch – trying to get in the habit of using moisturiser & oils after my shower. I love getting massages but it doesn’t happen as regularly as I would like so I want to try look after myself and massage my own skin, particularly my feet which are in need of some TLC.


My Environment – I love my bedroom- I have decorated it with photos, canvas, paintings, nice posters / frames, quotes/ affirmations. I Use nice scented candles every evening. I find dressing my bed and putting away my clothes so it is tidy and more inviting when I come home in the evenings. Everyone comments on my lovely bedroom 😉.

I am in a rented house so I cannot really paint on the walls but I am so looking forward to having my own place some day and using stencils to decorate my walls and paint each room and design it as I want 😉.

I am also very impressed these days with gardens and get excited when I see a lovely garden, especially in the city. Some people take such pride of their small gardens and I think it is lovely. I haven’t a clue how to garden but I am looking forward to learning and having my own lovely garden. I know I am getting old when my boyfriend and I day dream about designing our house and garden. He loves making furniture and I love painting and designing things so it will be a nice future project to look forward to.


My Clothes – this is very much a work in progress. As my body has changed a lot over the last 2 years I am still trying to find my way with clothing and experimenting with styles that suit me and that I feel comfortable in. I am enjoying more colour which is nice. I am also trying to be more brave with my choices and own my outfit and look once I wear it and not feel silly at work for making an effort. I love to spice up my outfits with nice jewelry 😉


My Hair – I have always changed my hair colour on a regular basis and wore hair extensions – I used to feel unattractive and unworthy without them but I have been extension free for about 1.5 years now and am happy with my hair and it has actually grown a bit. Yes, it would be nice to have longer, thicker luscious hair but it doesn’t affect my day anymore and I think my natural style suits me. I have also lightened my hair and went back to a more natural look which I am enjoying.

Who knows I may want to change it up again and try a new colour or extensions which is fine but for the moment I am happy with it! I have also learned how to use a hair wand which is actually so easy. I just never bothered to try before. I was tired of always having straight hair and having to go to a hair salon if I wanted to have a wave/curl so I watched a Youtube tutorial and thought myself how to do it. I love trying a wavy/curly look to spice things up now 😉


Work Connections- I have started to put myself out of my comfort zone and make more effort with people outside my office. I am a very friendly person naturally but I think I was very insecure and in my head so I used to keep my head down on the corridor and thought people would judge me if I made an effort with people in other departments – a nonsense story I told myself! I have started to make more effort daily and smile and say hello to people and find small little connections/ways of making chit chat. It just feels light and more enjoyable. I used to feel a bit down when I didn’t have connections at work or people didn’t salute me but I have now realised it was probably because I was so cold and in my head.


Come Dine With Me – I recently organised this at work with people from various departments in my office. Everyone signed up which was lovely (and stressful as we have 15 people and only 1 microwave) but it is really enjoyable 😉. Each month a team prepares dishes at home and brings them in the next day for everyone to enjoy. I got quite creative with this and made posters for the office and judging criteria based on taste, presentation, creativity etc. It has created a buzz around the office, as well as a competitive element. I am proud that I took the initiative and organised this. I used to think that I couldn’t initiative plans at work – who did I think I was? Also, this has helped challenge condition as I turn up to taste other people’s food with no notion in advance what it is or how it was prepared – can you imagine? I am actually enjoying the day that I don’t have to worry about making a lunch. I really want to give myself credit for this as at the beginning of recovery journey this was unthinkable!


Applying Creative Thinking at Work – Instead of moaning about certain tasks assigned to me (which at times is automatic) I just get stuck in and start – more often than not I learn something new from the process 😉 My attitude has changed I guess and I am thankful that my job is so varied and I get the opportunity to be involved in different projects etc. This is more enjoyable than moaning about all the things I HAVE to do!

Using Power Point – I am not a computer whizz or anything like that so using power point in Recovery surprises me 😉 The reason I enjoy using it is because it helps me summarise & simplify my learnings from group and journaling. I am very visual so decorating my PP with pictures & photos appeals to me – it helps me understand, simplify and apply my learnings.

When I journal in group I put down thoughts as they come to me and there is no structure or grouping so I think dissecting it and using PP helps me focus. I LOVE the idea of mind mapping daily in my diary rather than detailed journaling. There is a time and place for detailed elaborate journaling and it helps me support myself at certain times but daily I think the simple mind mapping will suit me more 😉


Creative in how I spend my time – Even though I have slowed down considerably I still find it challenging at times to find balance in my personal life. I am living in Dublin with my partner in Mayo and my family and close friends in Clare (where I am from) so I regularly feel like I am letting people down by not attending certain events / celebrations etc. I am at the stage now where every week there is something ranging from 30th bdays, baby showers, weddings, hen parties, christenings etc so it is impossible to please everyone. I do find it challenging to say NO but it is getting a tiny bit easier. I have a tendency to make up elaborate lies about why I can’t attend things rather than being honest that I can’t afford to attend everything, financially and physically. Some weekends I just want to chill and go nowhere at weekends- I love these weekends 😉 This process has been made a bit easier by getting curious about myself; what I enjoy, what/who is important to me, what/ who makes me feel light, what relationships are important etc.


My Wish List – this is my path to Freedom. There is nothing stopping me from achieving this wish list and living the life I want (except Condition- if I let it). My wish list is NOT correlated at all with Size, Food or Conditions – It is Real! have decided to take ownership of my life and live it on my terms. By holding onto Conditions Values I am going off my path to freedom. I remind myself of this when sizism thoughts appear. I feel so empowered and free when I look at this list.


Areas where I can introduce creativity

Visualising myself recovered every day – I think my life will be fairly similar to be honest but certain sizism thoughts/fears won’t be there 😊

Questioning some of my thoughts/actions – when I am recovered will I be doing this?

Capsule wardrobe – getting rid of the old stuff that doesn’t fit me but looks so nice / was expensive! Quality V Quantity. My wardrobe is bulging but if I am honest 50% – 60% of the stuff in there doesn’t fit me anymore. This can upset me but I think there is no point hanging onto it – taunting me and taking up space! I really think my body is still fluctuating and trying to find a happy balance but if I am honest some stuff has to go!

Mind mapping – taking the daily tip from Recovery now and mind mapping it & applying it

Morning Routine– using lightness and fun especially when a Condition thought appears – “Good Morning Body” (can hear Marie’s voice when I do this)! Practice DELETING & TRANSLATING red thoughts to green thoughts. Making an effort to get excited about the day ahead.

Comparing – When I find myself doing this, imagine I have a little daughter and she was being cruel to herself and comparing herself to others and hiding her individuality. This makes me so sad so I try apply this creative thinking to myself. Remind myself that I am unique & worthy 😉

My Back Recovery – I found out in July that I have Scheuermanns Disease in my mid & upper back (sounds worse than it is but can be very uncomfortable). As a result of slowing down, attending & committing to physio, I have been improving and getting stronger. However, of recent I have pretty much stopped my physio exercises/ stretches and hydrotherapy. Subsequently, the un-comfort and pain comes back and I end up very frustrated.

I know it is the frequent, little things that make the difference and that I NEED to keep this up if I want to have a good quality of life without chronic discomfort – obviously this is my choice and ACTION & COMMITTMENT is required – Sound Familiar?

I realised in group last night that my back recovery has gone quite stale and that I could be more creativity in my approach. I have been replaying the victim story in my head (poor me, will it ever be back to normal, why do I have to do this daily etc) and prioritising other things. I have decided to break this cycle and make an effort to stretch in the morning, lunch time & before bed. I also will make an effort to prioritise the pool twice weekly. I have also looked into Clinical Pilates which I think I will try out 😉. The walking more daily in and out of work or at lunch time also makes a difference and clears my head! When my back was very bad I done these actions so the recent pain is a reminder to keep it up daily!

Happy Hiker